저작권자 © Korea IT Times 무단전재 및 재배포 금지
What the world would look like if telecommunication is converged with broadcasting Telecommunications and broadcasting are all the methods by which we deliver our thoughts and information, and the means that are also essential in our everyday lives. Telecommunication, by definition, refers to the exchange of information between individuals. As a typical example for this, one can cite the communication through portable phones or wired telephones. In contrast to broadcasting, telecommunication has the characteristic of being two directional in terms of information flow. It is possible to send or receive diverse information, including those that tell you how one is getting along or that disclose secrets. Therefore, telecommunication in substance has not only the two-way characteristic but also ensures the contents of information to be kept secret. Broadcasting, meanwhile, refers to the providing of information to many and unspecified persons. Some typical examples of this are radio and television broadcasting. The contents that have been transmitted through television influence the viewers of all walks of life, and subsequently become the basis on which public opinions are formed. As a result, it becomes necessary to ask for the neutrality, diversity, and soundness of broadcast contents in order to lay down a healthy social environment. To this end, it also becomes necessary to prepare institutional mechanisms to facilitate the need. If then, what does the convergence of telecommunication and broadcasting mean Telecommunication and broadcasting have each been invented and developed on their own in their respective technology fields. But, as technologies have been advancing rapidly in recent years, the boundary between the two has started to crumble. We can notice this when we take a look at the Internet we use every day. The Internet was, in the first place, a telecom service developed to facilitate our needs for emails, web site browsing, information search, and network games. Accordingly, the network used for the Internet is comprised of telecommunication networks. Despite such a background, however, it has become possible to watch television programs through the Internet thanks to technological advancement. If so, then, it becomes difficult to discern whether the viewing of broadcasts on the Internet is a service by broadcasting or telecommunications. E-mails make it possible to send a message to many people simultaneously while an Internet blog or an individual web site, too, can be viewed by many at the same time. The oneto- one trait of the current telecommunications has come to possess the one-to-N trait of broadcasting. Moreover, the repeated viewing of TV programs, which we also call video on demand (VOD), is showing the one-way as well as twoway traits of telecommunications since it has transformed the current one-way simultaneous broadcasting service to that which canbe provided to individuals at any time of their choice. Likewise, the convergence of telecommunication and broadcasting represents a phenomenon that results from the mixing of the traits, or from the mutual connection, of telecommunication and broadcasting. A new operational zone, which is difficult to be named either broadcasting or telecommunication, has been formed in terms of the traditional standards of telecommunication and broadcasting. After all, what about televisions In the past, we had to install antennas on housetops to receive signals from broadcasting stations if we were to watch TV broadcasts. Since 1995, however, it has become possible to watch TV without antennas as cable TV service has appeared and allowed us to do just that once one subscribes to the cable service. From 1998, when the highspeed Internet began its service to the public, high-speed telecom services based on cable networks have also been launched. It became possible for a household to be connected to the high-speed Internet while watching TV through the cable. The convergence of telecommunication and broadcasting likewise is appearing in various industry fields including telecom services, terminal devices, and networks. Let us re-examine the convergence through the phenomena that have been appearing more recently. These days we can see such words as mobile TV, DMB, take-out TV, and swing phones on newspapers and television advertisements, with June or Fimm may be more accustomed to students. What this means is that one can not only send voice or text messages through a mobile phone but can also watch TV programs at the same times when they are being watched at homes. Depending on the number of functions a mobile phone carries, one can also use auxiliary functions of MP3s and digital cameras. The various types of information devices, such as telephones, TVs, radios, cassettes and cameras, which have so far been put on the market as separate types of IT products, are being integrated and converged to mobile phones. Internet Protocol TV(IPTV) too is on the brink of providing new services by integrating the Internet with TVs. What this means is that, even though the technologies and companies which provide the services are different, a user can have the access to both telecommunications and broadcasting by using a single terminal. Services hidden within the convergence of telecommunication and broadcasting Through which means can users easily feel the convergence of telecommunication and broadcasting That probably is the terminals such as telephones and televisions that are closely linked with users. Let me cite some examples of the services that users cantake up through terminals. Example 1) Have you ever regretted that you could not watch TV programs you really wanted to see because of an exam or any other unavoidable circumstances If you could not wait for a rerun, you may choose to visit the web site of a broadcasting company and become a free subscriber or choose to watch the VOD after paying some fees. This regretful and cumbersome burden, however, will be a thing of the past as DMB, the television you can watch whenever and wherever you wish, can find the solution. DMB, which stands for Digital Multimedia Broadcasting, is called mobile multimedia broadcasting. It enables the use of various multimedia services, such as audio and video, while on the move. DMB is classified by two types depending on which medium it utilizes to send signals transmitted from broadcasting stations to users. If the transmission medium happens to be a satellite, it is called satellite DMB. If the medium turns out to be broadcasting frequencies, then it is called terrestrial DMB. Having developed the so-called DMB phones that can provide DMB services in addition to existing mobile phone services, DMB operators provide services by means of voice phones, the wireless Internet, and broadcasting. Example 2) The Korean people's enthusiasm for soccer is of a tremendous one. The enthusiasm seems to have further grown in the process of hosting the 2002 World Cup Soccer Games. During our watching of soccer games through televisions, we at times feel the desire to know more about opposing teams or athletes. It is all the more so when the games are held between national teams. Data broadcasting, in the meantime, has found it to be a niche market. It can provide viewers with a variety of information independent of or related to the broadcast shown on TV at the time of its broadcasting. When TV viewers of a soccer game become curious to know more about athletes, they can request related information by using remote controllers. TV screens then will display the requested information on the same screens the game is shown. Likewise, when you want to know about your stock price while watching a TV drama, you can also retrieve the relevant information through a TV screen apart from the broadcast program. Such a characteristic of data broadcasting is like the showing of the two-way trait in the process of the current one-way broadcasting coping with the request and choice of users, a feature showing the broadcasting's convergence with telecommunication. Example 3) Have you ever felt the impulse to buy a product while watching TV Have you ever had the experience of dashing into a computer room after you had seen a product you liked at first sight for searching the product on shopping malls on the web or the very web site of the broadcast drama IPTV and digital cable TV provide the opportunity to shop on the spot through the TV linked with the Internet and through the shopping hosts connected with broadcast programs. Let me cite one more example regarding the converged TV. As we are all aware, a broadcast program is produced by editing the program scenes shot in different angles and according to a producer's intentions. As a result, all the TV viewers will be watching only the shots that are finally edited despite the staged scenes were shot in different angles with a number of cameras. All the film shots cut out in the process of editing would have lost values. What would happen, however, if viewers were allowed to choose and watch a broadcast in an angle of one's choice after the 'value-lost' frames are shown to viewers The converged TV can offer numerous channels by utilizing today's digitalization and the IP base. Such a spare of channels left among the many contributes to the creation of new values for the programs that had to be cut and left out. The viewers will be granted with a new level of service as they can watch and enjoy the same program that renders different feelings. Likewise, the service that has been developed to efficiently search the TV channels that have grown to number more than two and three hundred is the Electronic Program Guide (EPG). From now on, viewers don't have to change over channels. Rather, they can select TV programs that they wish to watch through the mini channel guide frames on a TV screen as one would find a web site through the list of bookmarks for favorite Internet sites. The first screen a viewer would encounter through the converged TV is none other than EPG. The convergence of telecommunication and broadcasting has just begun. And yet, the term 'convergence' may not be proper for the new Z-generation consumers because telecommunication and broadcasting may be recognized as one from the beginning. What changes will convergence bring Let's turn our eyes from the convergence of broadcasting and telecommunications to ourselves, families and to the society. The music broadcast at 7, news at 9, drama at 10 and the talk show at 11. For some time, TV viewers, too, have been confined to the principle of time constraints as we have been dining in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings. The convergence that is based on mobility transforms such time frames to be free and creative. A scholar called Jaureguiberry has expressed such traits of time as the elevation of time density and the creation of dual time. What this signifies is that the converged TV helps to 'enliven' and 'recover' the 'dead times' or 'lost times,' such as those spent on a bus for going to school or in a rest room. As a result, individuals will have more time today than any period in the past - not in terms of the amount of time, but from the standpoint of effectively utilizing the given twenty four hours a day.Business operators will be creating new and diverse business models to make profits by utilizing the time. And, the pervasive effects will be extended to the whole of society in general. Mobile phones and the Internet have played an important role in partitioning the old generation accustomed to TVs from the new generation accustomed to the Internet. The generation gap has been further aggravated. To bridge the gap, a TV broadcasting company has even produced and is broadcasting a program entitled 'Generation Chord.' The convergence based on tieups becomes an alternative that resolves such a generational gap. The converged TV brings together the parents who like to watch TV and the children glued to the Internet into the space of living room. It also helps to deepen the understanding of issues of mutual interest through data broadcasting, or through various information channels, and can form a family bond by means of sharing diverse information. The restoration of homes becomes the basis of a healthy society.